Iran Threatens Even Less Openness on Nukes

Daily News Article   —   Posted on June 2, 2008

(by Eli Lake, NYSun.com) WASHINGTON – Iran is threatening to limit its cooperation with the U.N. atomic watchdog, complaining that a recent assessment from that agency was written under pressure from America and Europe.

The spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Mohammed Ali Hosseini, said that the Islamic Republic would have to review its level of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in light of that agency’s latest report.

That report raises questions about Iran’s development of long-range ballistic missiles and claims that Iran should grant more access to the agency’s inspectors. The State Department is expected to press the U.N. Security Council to approve a fourth round of sanctions against the Iranians.

“At any rate, the trend of cooperation … should continue in a way that, as [Ali] Larijani pointed out, the [Iranian] parliament and the Islamic Republic of Iran would not be compelled to review the going trend of the cooperation and adopt new limitations,” Mr. Hosseini said, according to the Reuters wire service.

Mr. Larijani, Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator, was elected yesterday as speaker of Iran’s parliament. He is considered a rival of President Ahmadinejad. At the same time, he has asserted Iran’s right to enrich uranium and shown no sign of ending the uranium enrichment that sparked the current standoff between the United Nations and Iran.

Iran and its nuclear program has emerged as a heated issue in the American elections. Last week, the Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg published an interview with Senator McCain in which he called his likely Democratic rival for the White House, Senator Obama “naïve.”

“Senator Obama is totally lacking in experience, so therefore he makes judgments such as saying he would sit down with someone like Ahmadinejad without comprehending the impact of such a meeting,” Senator McCain said.

Senator Obama has recently backed away from a pledge from last July to meet with the Iranian president personally.

In his comments yesterday, Mr. Hosseini said Iran favored no political candidate in the 2008 American presidential election.

Reprinted here with permission from The New York Sun. Visit the website at NYSun.com.

Questions

NOTE: Enriched uranium is needed to make nuclear weapons.  It is made in a centrifuge.

1. The United Nation’s IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is the U.N.’s nuclear weapons watchdog. Inspectors work to verify that safeguarded nuclear material and activities are not used for military purposes. Why is Iran threatening to limit its cooperation with the IAEA?

2. What does the IAEA’s latest report say about Iran’s nuclear program?

3. Who is Ali Larijani?

4. What position does Mr. Larijani take on Iran’s nuclear program?

5. a) Why did Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain call Sen. Barack Obama “naive”?
b) Do you agree with Sen. McCain? Explain your answer.

PLEASE NOTE:  “Answers by Email” has ended for the summer. 


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Background

Iran’s 20 year secret nuclear program was discovered in 2002.  Iran says its program is for fuel purposes only, but it has been working on uranium enrichment which is used to make nuclear bombs.  Under the  NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) countries are not allowed to make nuclear weapons. In September 2006, the U.S. attempted to get the UN’s IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council with the hope that if Iran did not stop their work, the Security Council would impose sanctions on Iran to force them to comply with the NPT.  The UN did eventually impose some sanctions on Iran in December 2006 and extended the sanctions further in March 2008.

Resources

Go to http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/me.htm for a map of Iran.